International Booker Prize 2023 voor Georgi Gospodinov

25 mei 2023
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Georgi Gospodinov en zijn vertaler Angela Rodel zijn bekroond met de International Booker Prize 2023 voor Time Shelter (in het Nederlands vertaald door Hellen Kooijman als Schuilplaats voor andere tijden). Dat werd dinsdagavond bekendgemaakt.

The International Booker Prize is een van de belangrijkste literaire prijzen binnen de Engelse taal. Ieder jaar kiest de jury de beste roman die origineel of vertaald in het Engels verschenen is, waarmee de prijs ook het belang van vertaling onderschrijft; de vertaler krijgt de helft van het prijzengeld. Eerder wonnen Geetanjali Shree (2022), David Diop (2021), Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (2020), Jokha Alharthi (2019), Olga Tokarczuk (2018), David Grossman (2017) en Han Kang (2016). 

Lees op onze site een fragment uit de Nederlandse vertaling van Hellen Kooijman.

Juryvoorzitter Leïla Slimani:

‘A jury is a complex thing, the alchemy of which is very subtle. It has been an exceptional literary and human experience to be able to discuss books with such passionate readers. Thank you to Parul Sehgal, Tan Twan Eng, Frederick Studemann and Uilleam Blacker; I feel privileged to have been able to feed myself with their culture and their sensitivity.

Our winner, Time Shelter, is a brilliant novel, full of irony and melancholy. It is a profound work that deals with a very contemporary question: What happens to us when our memories disappear? Georgi Gospodinov succeeds marvellously in dealing with both individual and collective destinies and it is this complex balance between the intimate and the universal that convinced and touched us.

In scenes that are burlesque as well as heartbreaking, he questions the way in which our memory is the cement of our identity and our intimate narrative. But it is also a great novel about Europe, a continent in need of a future, where the past is reinvented, and nostalgia is a poison. It offers us a perspective on the destiny of countries like Bulgaria, which have found themselves at the heart of the ideological conflict between the West and the communist world.

It is a novel that invites reflection and vigilance as much as it moves us, because the language – sensitive and precise – manages to capture, in a Proustian vein, the extreme fragility of the past. And it mixes, in its very form, a great modernity with references to the major texts of European literature, notably through the character of Gaustine, an emanation from a world on the verge of extinction.

The translator, Angela Rodel, has succeeded brilliantly in rendering this style and language, rich in references and deeply free.

The past is only ever a story that is told. And not all storytellers have the talent of Georgi Gospodinov and Angela Rodel.’

Dit was de shortlist, waarvan de romans van Gospodinov en Condé dus ook in het Nederlands vertaald zijn:

pro-mbooks1 : athenaeum